Facebook sold private messages, lawsuit claims

Facebook is being sued over claims it sells users’ private messages to advertising companies without consent.

The lawsuit, which is being brought in California by Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley, comes from claims that in 2012, the website scanned private messages for information that works out how many ‘likes’ a page has had.

According to the complaint documents filed in California, the social network “misleads users into believing they have a secure, private mechanism for communication, when in fact Facebook… mines user data and profits from those data by sharing them with third parties”.

Facebook has vehemently denied the claims.

A Facebook spokesman said: “We believe the allegations are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”

The lawsuit comes less than a month after a US court ruled that disgruntled investors could pursue claims against Facebook over information disclosure and spin ahead of the firm’s IPO.

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